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2012 National Book Festival - Sunday Education. (2012) Sunday at the 2012 National Book Festival. (CC)

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Us 8, Thompson 8, America 7, Dorothy Thompson 6, Susan Hertog 6, Rebecca 5, Obama 5, Karachi 4, Europe 4, England 3, Washington 3, Barack Obama 3, David Mariness 3, Berlin 3, Bob Woodward 2, Thomas Mallon 2, Elizabeth 2, Npr 2, Billington 2, Julie Nixon 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    2012 National Book Festival - Sunday  Education.   
   (2012) Sunday at the 2012 National Book Festival. (CC)  

    September 24, 2012
    1:00 - 6:00am EDT  

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>> guest: every decent life, whether solitary monk was ceo of a corporation is about scaling obstacles, overcoming adversity, getting there. and you don't give up. you inspire, keep going and inspire yourself first and keep going until you get there. and the possible is made possible by people with vision and determination. the reason we have leaders and elect people out in the crowd is people don't all have that quality. the question is does barack obama have the leadership qualities to get a spare?
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looking at public opinion, and i was struck by the fact if you ask americans whose the strongest leader barack obama or mitt romney, barack obama wins
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the contest every time. why do you think this? it's a pretty big gap between the candidates at this time. >> guest: i was shocked by the public opinion polls that barack obama and i can't see why because the democratic convention the achievement a tactic that is killing them lowden. >> host: that's the thing most people remember but i also think that obama has been on the front page in terms of foreign policy and retired in terms of the foreign policy that's not what the leader does. >> guest: leader needs to decide the crisis in the euro that can feel like they've done. we have a joblessness crisis right here the president could pick the would resonate with the public and championed them
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instead of taking obscure from the progressive wish list like health care reform. >> host: we have only a few minutes left. tell us about the biggest conclusions from the book and what you might do next. >> guest: you write in a book to answer a big question. you play detective for a year or so. you want to spend some time thinking about something else but it's a great surprise to me. i was expecting to find something very different. expecting to find a much more determined year, someone who generates the american politics and if you look at the debate in 2008 between john mccain and barack obama, with mccain use of this dwarf speaking out about a war that ended four years ago that no one is talking about any more who spoke in the language of my good friend in a very
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complicated way. then you have this tall, confident man who seemed to speak to merkley and connect with people. they had to choose between the two people and they chose obama. now they see them reduced by the office you see, heat too lost the ability to lead and we have a tendency sometimes in america to promote people before they are ready and make excuses for them once they, are there. but ultimately, the kind of ruthlessness exists in the character, too when people don't perform, so i think this is going to be a very momentous year. i think this is wendy year in which the examine the entitlement state and examine the nature of political life.
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i think we have reached a choice point in american politics and the world is coming to look very different for years from now than it does today. >> host: suggested the extraordinary if obama is reelected and areas me to make progress. how do you think americans will react to that? will we see extraordinary turnover in 2014? what will the reaction be if we continue this pattern? >> guest: it is unlikely we are going to see obama of the elected although the polls given them advantage and a sizable number of undecided people eight to 9% of people are undecided and 7% are for gary johnson. i think ultimately though this
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is another carter presidency. this is what happens. our best leaders are not visionaries. but obama was neither a visionary or one of these competent leaders. he is really miscast and there is a transient to all of this actually. >> host: does this give you an idea for another book? can you tell us a little bit about it? well, thank you very much. this has been an extraordinary interview and congratulations once again in on your book, "leading from behind." >> that was afterwards mack, booktv signature program which
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authors of the latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policy makers, legislators and others familiar with the material. "after words" errors every weekend at 10 p.m. saturday, 12 p.m. and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 p.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" online, go to booktv.org and click on the book tv series and topics list on the upper right side of the page. and welcome to a number two of the 12th annual national book festival. this is book tv live coverage from washington, d.c.. here is the lineup of the events today. in just a minute susan will be talking about her book "dangerous ambition,"
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will be joining us here on our book tv said here on the mall to talk about his newest book about energy use in america. and then christopher will join us for a call in the segment. mnf out walls is the name of his book and it's about gave renters in america. and then finally in the history and biography to come sally goodell smith, she's written a biography of the queen of england. she will be talking about her book and then book tv will be joining her on the set on stage for a live national call program. stick with us all a lot for our
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live coverage on book tv on c-span2. however, if that is not what you are looking for the and you are looking for different authors, you can go to booktv.org. there's about 16 tons of the festival and we were able to cover two of them. the other is a contemporary life pavilions and coming and that will be webcast on booktv.org. here is the line of death booktv.org. daniel yergin as we discussed earlier will be talking in a few minutes talking about the quest. he will be followed by christopher bram, eminem velte walls gave writers in america. again book of the gentleman later on in the day will be joining us on the set to take your calls. charles will also be in the contemporary life tent. no one's world is about what he calls the coming global of term. representative john lewis, a well-known civil rights leader and member of congress and his
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book is called a cross that bridge. we will be life webcasting that. and then npr steve inskeep will be talking about his first book life-and-death in karachi so that is the line that on both c-span2 and don booktv.org. two options, turn on your tv, turn on your computer. you can watch them both and if you happen to be in the area it's a beautiful day in washington of 70 degrees, low humidity. come down and say hi. this c-span bus is here. you can pick up your book bag from the folks on the bus and say hi. we would love to see use of that is the lineup for today live coverage for the national book festival. no in just a minute susan hertog will be starting on the history and biography tent introduced by the library of converse james billington doing an award right
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now. we are going to join that of while they are honoring the park service for all their work to help put this festival together. we're going to join that progress and then susan hertog talking about the injured as ambition. this is live coverage from the national book festival. islamic the corporate citizenship is and the fact it's really strengthened and wachovia made it even stronger. it's part of something we live by every day called the vision of values and it's how we do business every day as well. this marks cash to the second year of participating in the national book festival of the sponsor. but even before this, the port for education has been a hallmark of wells fargo and it's something we remain committed to. i think and hope you would agree education creates strong talented work forces. it's where innovation comes
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from. it's how we build stable neighborhoods and families and make a vibrant sustainable communities. and in that time sadly enough when employment opportunities, safe and affordable housing, the school's support for small businesses and health care and other public service have been left attainable for many focused on this work we think has never been more critical. we understand americans are demanding more from their financial restitutions and you should push. we are trying and to demonstrate our importance and continue to be a part of that recovery. as one of the nation's and the world's largest financial institutions, we know the decisions we make a significant impact on people's lives, communities and planets and we think about the outcome of those decisions before we make them
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final. we support organizations working to strengthen our communities through the efforts of the enthusiastic team of the volunteers and our contributions we share our success within our communities by giving back to the nonprofits in the educational institutions that address vital community needs and issues. wells fargo invested more than $213 million in 19,000 nonprofits nationwide. we surpassed 200 million the fourth year in a row and for the third year in a row, united way worldwide has named the community support and united way campaign the number one campaign. we are proud of that. our success comes from a contest of formula. people making local decisions because they know what their
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communities need. when henry and william fargo from that wells fargo and company in new york in march of 1852, they really could not have imagined that they were creating a business enterprise the would become one of america's best known brands. i am proud to represent the wells fargo brand and everything we stand for giving our customers and communities towards financial success. i would like to personally thank those of you who are already trusten wells fargo with your business if i would like to invite those of you who don't know us to take time i think he would enjoy the discussion. think again for allowing wells fargo to be part of this wonderful event shall together we can go far. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> im mr. jones and thank wells fargo for their part in the book festival and the very popular display which if you have kids with you you will see before you leave. now what is my pleasure to introduce an extraordinary biography of some extraordinary people, a biographer. the author susan hertog. she's the author of the critically acclaimed but when byrd and her life. her latest book entitled "the interests ambition to women in search of wealth and power." that sounds pretty good as a theme for women in our lives and modern history.
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she felt was the life of to relieve people and the feminist but from the unusual and interesting ones. their early lives work in journalism and susan hertog not only rights remarkable work for nonfiction, but she and her husband support programs that improve the expertise of other writers and i have to express a personal interest in this because my discovery of rebecca is a remarkable books into their inspirations for how to write about foreign countries and regions with flashbacks of history and a great deal of cultural sensitivity that we try to capture the library of
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congress come as a that is the beginning of the chain of ways to discover the foreign culture. she was a rare woman and the dominant men's world of high intellectual power and journalistic brilliance in britain at that time and dorothy thompson, i know my parents often spoke of her. she was a personal special-interest everything she what right and did so these women were early in the game and were free good to remember to read once again love and power these early remarkable women and ladies and a gentleman remarkable woman in her own light, susan hertog. [applause]
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>> i'm certainly honored to be here at the library of congress but festival but perhaps i'm even more honored to having been introduced by the extraordinary man dr. james billington, a great man and a great library of congress. [applause] >> i will start at the beginning. as a child, i loved to read. in the mid-50s, life in the elder boroughs of new york city and in my case the bronx was comfortable and provincial and my curiosity extended far beyond the bounds of my home and
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school. i wanted to know about people in other places. what was happening in the world now? what happened in the past, and how i came to be. books for my passport and i concerned them voraciously but i came in to right-wing leader than most in my late 30's after having raised my three children. my generation, those of us for, during and after world war ii numbered in the millions and we were asking questions that demanded to be answered. we had come of age in the heat
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of the escalating war in vietnam , and we didn't know why are were brothers were fighting so far away for a cause the was so difficult to understand. and the role of the women in society was changing rapidly. my friends educated with traditional values but a deep sense of personal ambition wanted to know how to be true to ourselves yet remain committed. as a young mother, it stumbled into a bookstore and pulled gifts off from the bargain shelves. it's author was struggling with the very same questions that we
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were asking ourselves. her answers were to deceptively simple yet they rang true and i wanted to know how this woman got so smart, this brings me to my third floor room in virginia, a room of my own to read the work to study its free-market and jot down my thoughts before sending my children off to school. my biography would take more than ten years to complete during which i had the privilege
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of meeting her ten times. but the book was more than a biography. it is a journey towards self knowledge during which i developed a consuming interest in understanding the lives of women, not only the women thinker's but dealers who were willing to enter the public from and change the discourse. what were the qualities of person and mind, the values and royalties succeeded coming and what did they have to sacrifice to bring their goals to fruition while researching the book, to names kept cropping up. dorothy thompson, an american
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journalist, and her friend of 40 years, rebecca west, journalists, novelists, literary critic and historian. they a epitomize the kind of woman i was searching for. they played for high stakes risking personal pain for public voice and influence. think of it. two generations before the baby boomers were born these women had the courage to throw off convention, despite the social the expectations and catapult themselves in the public arena at a time of political and social upheaval, and against the
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headwind of their contemporary they were ridiculed and with none of the safety nets we take for granted today, and to compound their struggles they had no family connections, no money and had fractured. let me begin. born in 18933 english, irish pence in a small town in a northern new york state she was the oldest of three children whose preacher father taught them first to love jesus, second, to obey the christian
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ethic and third, to embrace their written and spoken word in that order. but after the death of her mother when she was in the 8-years-old, everything changed. for two years, she helped take care of her younger brother and sister and catered to the needs of her broken hearted father. but when her father remarried, its rebellious and precocious teenager was cast on her own. after graduating from college, she cut as a spokesperson for the women's suffrage movement, then it during a short stint as a community organizer, she
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realized that she would save it for a life beyond the bounds of cleveland as new york. so it 1921 with $150 in her pocket, determined to become a foreign correspondent she went to england with the desire to make her way through the strait. but what is remarkable is that within five years she became the first woman to head a news bureau in europe stationed in berlin she saw the world in chaos but hunkered to understand
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the madness that seemed to be sweeping europe. the public and political upheaval after the great war and the political landscape that was giving rise to the dictator she wanted to be a player and she knew there is a woman she would have to fight harder, faster and longer than her male colleagues. she would have government officials, prime ministers, presidents, and burn the reputation as a reporter willing to do anything to go anywhere for the sake of a story. thompson had the guts to ask her american public the questions
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they didn't want to think about. mired in the delusion they were protected from asian and europeans by two oceans americans preferred the war of the 1920's dancing and drinking themselves into oblivion. in 1933 after knocking at his door for seven years, thompson would become the first correspondent, male or female to interview hitler as he was gaining in dominance in the life and ruthlessly cutting his way to the government control.
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it catapulted her on to the national stage and earned her the distinction of being thrown out of the right all along with national celebrity and the termination of her peers but as his influence to drill, the voice echoed across america and europe. just listen to this. in 1936, she was writing a weekly column in the new york herald tribune that reached eight to 10 million readers sent coming in to buy 1937, she had received six honorary degrees from the major colleges and universities, and a public radio
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broadcast on nbc that reaps 5 million readers and listeners and she was rumored what to be running for the u.s. senate. that was true but she was also thinking of running for president. in 1942 through the shortwave radio broadcast she would reach many of ordinary citizens and in germany hoping to bring hitler down by convincing them that he would enslave them and free people are not the world. within the span of 20 years, she
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had gone from being a nobody, a community organizer of cleveland to a powerful international figure but her personal life was in shambles. while she had been working in berlin in the early and mid 1920's, she had been swept off her feet by harry sinclair lewis whom you know less perhaps one of the greatest writers of the 20th century soon to become the first american to be awarded the nobel prize for literature. he had already written mainstream and eras that and was about to publish.
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she was drawn to him not because of his literary brilliance, but because if he was the fattest man she ever met, and dorothy push, the preacher's daughter, liked nothing better than to save someone. he was drawn to her strength and core, driving the energy and her unwavering ambition and drive, but within a short time with a hard devolved drunken and despite his own international
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celebrity, she couldn't bear who lives in fame. rebecca west who had met constant in london in 1921 who jim's book but in his introduction, impleader eight chief bureau in berlin was a courageous and abdominal as her american friend possibly more so, the spirit and intent on that concrete feeling of male-dominated journalism they both were intent on confronting the pivotal issues of their time had gone and they would remain
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friends all of their lives. rebecca had a humble beginning as dorothy thompson. she was born isabel fairfield on the help skirts of london in 1892 today scott highland mother with musical the aspirations and a truly gifted journalist father when he left them abandoned to poverty, when she too was only eight she was devastated in the liberated. as angry as she was, she, like thompson was able to invent
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herself. naughty and rebellious, ms. fairfield first tried to be an actress which was a terrible thing for a respectable woman to do. but early on, she realized that her true passion and a devotee of the spoken word became a feminist journalist as a tool for initiating social change. by the age of 20, she had earned a reputation by the age of 30 she wasn't only a journalist, she was a literary biographer and a novelist and literary
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critic with a skating reputation for 40 years rebecca west took britain by storm and was cut across every genre from fiction to nonfiction and the range of her knowledge was wide and deep and can truly be called a public intellectual in the sense that lionel trilling defined it. one who's writing lives at the crossroads of literature. the bloody crossroads of literature and politics, and thompson was among the first to proceed the ongoing danger of the nazi devastation.
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although by nature she was more available philosopher and the intellectual and a journalist like thompson sheen on the less traveled alongside her husband s he was anniversary with schroeder and commissioned by the british government to investigate and understand countries across eastern europe. on one of these assignments, she went to yugoslavia and that trippi changed her life. from a distance she could see the disintegration of british culture, and its political
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community at a time when great stakes were on the table and clarity than ever before it was her magnum-opus and grey falcon, the political military and cultural history of yugoslavia became a microcosm of tribal contention in the foreign conquest that over the space of europe under nazi siege will sit well hundred page aquarium call to arms to awaken her
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compatriots from the deep light sleep of appeasement to the ruthlessness of hitler and mussolini and the devastation of the space ideals bearing their ascendancy implied. the black clam was just one of her many for 30 bucks along with hundreds of essays and articles she wrote during her lifetime in the american and british periodicals. the new republic, the new yorker, "u.s. news and world report", the evening standard, the daily telegraph, the daily spectator just to name a few in
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which she grappled with a dazzling a ray of issues that are actually defined the essence of life in the 20th century, democracy versus to tell transom, nationalism versus the new internationalism, the legal and moral intricacies of punishing the criminals, the meaning of treason and christianity and the silence of god. what was astonishing is that she never went to the university's. early on she knew she was more capable than her classmates or even her children or -- sorry,
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probably her son. but for teachers she would seek herself in the classical text on great philosophy, theology managing to outperform and outclass those of formal education. throughout her career she was all merten middle america and france, but her crew did draw came in 1959 when queen elizabeth of word debt her commander of the british empire
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for her contribution to the 20th century and literature. how do we account for the success of these women? rall intelligence and the drive. certainly, but there were other smart and ambitious women. what distinguished thompson and west is their courage to jettison the constraints of the past, break the rules and forge the past for women behind in journalism and literature at the time of great political the people.
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their influence was a perception character drive and the guts to speak truth and power at the time the was cataclysmic in world history. in short, they felt an overriding sense of historical missions and they were willing to do everything they could to make their voices heard that there was a danger in their ambition, a dark side which is exactly why i and my books " dangerous ambition. it was certain the alike but risky to throw away the rules and make new ones on the fly.
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at the cutting edge of the change the had no understanding of who and what they were sacrificing. so intent on achieving their goals even when they had a glimmer that they were hurting those that they loved, they chose to turn away caring more about humanity and then those peopland their personal lives. their relationships with men and a leader in divorce or deep antipathy and their sons feeling abandoned it alone spent much of
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their lives trying to bring them down. dorothy thompson's son, michael lewis of the issue of her ultimately failed marriage to sinclair lewis was a lost lonely young man who became, like his father, an alcoholic. he could never measure up to his parents' expectations and although he has a gift for acting, he alternately succumbed to philandering, destroying the lives of his wives and children. rebecca west's son, anthony was
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a product, and some of you may notice, of her decade-long relationship with hd wells who as you know was one of the most celebrated authors in the english language and the time whose legendary books are still read today and were married with two sons what they meant coming in the west was in the 19th and was and easily seduced by his intellectual brilliance and rapacious sexuality. he headed deemed mixed and he met his match and rebecca. but each was as ambitious than
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the self observed as the other, and the viewing and quickly unraveled but their son, anthony, who paid the price caught in the middle and hundred for love but neither one of his parents could get him though anthony himself as a gifted writer and trustees - his creative energy by punishing his mother for his illegitimate births. she became through his eyes a fourth of deception corruption and mendacity. but it may be said that neither west or wells or thompson were louis had the slightest notion
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careful of how to love one another. although thompson was flawed and in perfect, we're the beneficiaries of the legacy and daunting enough courage and energy speaking truth to power regardless of its cost they grappled with the great political and moral issues of their time so that we might harness and clarify their vision to meet the imposing exigencies of or presence.
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thank if you so much for coming and listening. [applause] if you have questions, we have to microphones on either side. please, let us know if you have questions. we're willing to answer them for a few minutes. >> you have mentioned thompson left for england with $150 but really without any track record of any career in journalism. how did you back to only break in? i know she became the first correspondent but how did she actually breaks in the beginning? >> if she went to the news service and volunteered her services and said don't pay me anything. just give me assignments, and i
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will do whatever you want me to do and i promise to bring back the story and that's how she made her way into journalism and foreign correspondents. she was picked up by "the new york post" and as you heard me say keeps, she was syndicated on 180 newspapers around the country and reached 810 million readers today the answer to your question is she knew she could do it and she didn't care if she got paid for it. she knew she could bring that story home and do a good job.
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>> i'm curious about your primary sources. i was reading a book and it's the story of ortiz mother. how did you research that and bring up to such an amazing narrative and i'm curious. >> i think you are speaking of the fact that her mother had a botched abortion at the hands of dorothy thompson's grandmother who decided he had enough children, think you come in and she was poor as a church mouse because she was married to this preacher who was a good man but he wasn't bringing home the bacon and there were all kinds of herbal and one which she
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formulated on poor margaret kurson and unfortunately her mother died within hours. the fourth material was as i say in my introduction to and from great researchers who on whose soldiers i stand ocher and understood and had gone through all the papers and people in the congregation had heard these rumors and came back to dorothy
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thompson and was modified. i think that is partially why she became interested in the women's suffrage movement. she wanted to help give women the voice that for her own mother never had. thank you. >> if that's it, thank you so much. have a beautiful day and thank you for listening. [applause] ♪
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>> you can see susan hertog talking with the library of congress. james billington life from the national book festival this is book tv on c-span2. in just a few minutes, john will be in the history and biography tent talking about his book on clarence attorney for the dam is what is called. but here on the book tv set a few days from the history and biography tent we are joined by a face you may not know what a voice you will know, steve, co-host of the morning edition on npr and author of this book his first book instant city life and death in karachi. what happened on december 28, 20009? >> thanks for the institution and what you are doing that on
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december 28, 2009 there was a religious procession in the middle of this gigantic city one of the rapidly growing cities in the world that was bombed. it's a tragic story but when you begin digging into the details of that day, peeling back layers what i discovered was the story that to me eliminates the way the world is developing and is growing and different kinds of people are coming together rushing out our future. this is an even i learned about the became this book. >> how many people were killed? estimate it turned out to be at least according to the authorities a militant group one of many militant groups in the west but our active in pakistan that may or may not have a
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variety of lengths to al qaeda but in this case they were bombing the minority shiite muslims. this is a country that we think of as overwhelmingly muslim, 90% muslim and the reality is reversed. a fair number of non-muslims and as much diversity within islam and there's a huge debate to handle that diversity. but it led to protests and violence and attacks from libya to egypt to yemen and pakistan and the last few days. we see this debate over how islamist supposed to deal with dissent and other kinds of people and this agreement and also it was an offensive foul on the question is how to respond to that what do you do about
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that. this was on my mind as i wrote this book. it is a single day that eliminates a lot of the ongoing struggles in the world. that's what i wanted to go there and some of the places and people i depicted have been caught up again in the last few days. >> what is the genesis of the book? you tell the story of why you wrote the book. >> i am a reporter and i started going to the city of karachi pakistan in 2002. there was a place i would pass through covering nine war to afghanistan. >> i would spend a little bit of time and i didn't like it at all. it's a huge city more than 13 million people by the conservative estimate a lot more. the streets are why the and the traffic is from this. i was going to cover a court proceeding related to the death of "the wall street journal" last daniel pearl said it is a
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scary place for a westerner but as i visited again and again i began to be compelled by the architecture and the layers of history and the speed with which the city had grown and the people that had survived and put up with a lot and get up the next day and keep working and keep the city functioning. that is one of the vital points we think of in the developing world was terrifying in places that can be dangerous if the reason they grow is because people are coming to them from all sides of the city to grab a job and an opportunity to learn english to connect to the global economy to better their lives. this is a place of opportunity for a lot of the people that go there. >> toll free airplane story. the woman he met on the airplane. [laughter] >> my goodness, yes. i was getting on a plan on my
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way to karachi changing plants in doha and a gentle man struck up a conversation so i was talking and i felt a tap on my shoulder and was a teenager from texas by the pakistani descent on the plane going to karachi and set a are you that a guy from npr? she introduced me to her mother who had heard a series of studies the yet down from her city in 2008 and remembered them with incredible detail. she said you know, you got the news with there is more triet you missed a lot. and i couldn't agree more. as a journalist i go to these different places, you go to the developing news but the most important thing i think is to go back and get a deep sense of the story and try to understand what is going on.
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>> do you feel you got the sense of the story? >> i got a deeper sense of the story but this is a complicated place and one of the reasons i tried to peel back the layers of history leading up to a single day. it's like the saying of the 7 million stories. you go to a city in the developing world and there's 13 or 14 million it's an incredibly complicated place that often seems completely nonsensical until you get there and you are totally absorbed and as soon as you go away it begins to cease to make sense.layers as well as
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some of the main players. >> a republican operative in the nixon white house without a business card bought in the white house directory. it fell to have to be the man
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who coordinated the payments to the burglars. >> historical fact. >> is this historical fact. and a very small softspoken intriguing man. he had a tragedy in his life when he was young, when he was in his late 20's he accidentally killed his father while they were out hunting. and he was an intriguing figure. i remember thinking he had the kind of personality i want to think about and export. he becomes a main player in the novel even though he was a relatively minor one in the scandal itself. >> is the protagonist in your novel? >> i'm not sure there is. about seven different points of view. some big people, some less figures. president nixon, this is nixon, the main character. eleanor roosevelt longworth approaching 90 at the time of the watergate scandal, teddy
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roosevelt staffer, still very sharp, still very humorous and would be. and she is sort of my one-woman which course with the long historical memory. howard hunt, one of the burglars who was one of -- the only person that i knew, actually. i knew him when i was in the magazine business. he was from an article for me when i was a gentle it -- jevons quarterly. i had him review a spy novel. he used to write them. and elliott richardson from the investigative side of things and a few more rail -- relatively minor, the president's secretary a great many of the players actually had their homes there. the mitchells live there. it was not just the headquarters of was there to be burgled. >> now, david mariness -- thomas mallon, yesterday we spent some time here at the national book
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festival. do they feature in watergate to the novel? >> in a minor way they come and go. julie nixon was a very valiant defender for father. david eisenhower was a good father lot throughout the scandal. julie nixon wrote a very good could -- a good book about her mother, of the least known of the first lady's that we had in modern times. never heard from again after the nixons left the white house, never did interviews, never wrote her own memoirs. and mrs. nixon was somebody i tried to bring to life in the book. >> you have written several historical fiction books, nonfiction, novels. how do you approach historical fiction? >> i always tell people who are contemplating writing it if they have not before, don't leave too much about the time you're
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writing about but from it. if you want to know how people thought, how they spoke, the way their minds worked, read what actually came out of the time. in other words, eliminate the middleman. this is why some historians are not very fond of historical fiction because it tries to do something different. historians also have to hedge their bets. well, at this point it is not unreasonable to suppose that richard nixon might have fought. if you're a novelist you go inside his head and haven't ticket. is that history. it's more entertaining than is educational. it's one thing that genre can add to actual history. >> what is your day job? >> i teach at george washington university. >> talking here with thomas mallon.
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here on book tv at the national book festival as we continue our live coverage. in just a minute david mariness. "barack obama: the story" is his most recent presidential biography published in june. by the way, book tv travel to kenya as he was researching this book. we traveled with him. you can watch that to end half-hour program that we put together booktv.org. simply type his name in the search function in the upper left-hand corner and you can watch the entire program. live in just a minute from the history and biography test. bob woodward will follow him. he will also hear this afternoon from sally smith. in march she published a biography of queen elizabeth the second. she will be speaking. then book tv will join her on stage for a live national call. you will be able to call in and directs your calls. also have a couple of other rigidities this afternoon, including a pulitzer prize
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winner. you will be joining as here on our book tv said, as well christopher brahman, eminent outlaws as an it of his most recent book. so that coverage is this afternoon. you can also go on the web. we are web casting an entirely different set of author's life from the festival here. you find a full schedule. two options. you can't guess, once the web cast or you can stick with us here on book tv on c-span2. and now we're going to return to the history and biography tense. david mariness will be introduced by marcus broccoli. the executive editor of the "washington post". live coverage from the 12th annual national book festival here in washington d.c.
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[background noises] [background noises] [background noises]
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[background noises] [background noises] [background noises] >> we are going to start shortly.
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getting ready to be standing-room-only. if you have an interest, if there's a chair next to you please raise your hand says that some of the people standing in the back will be able to have to seek. so, again, david mariness will begin shortly. the next author after that, bob woodward who will be talking about his new book, the price of politics. thank you.
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